World's happiest capital city, Copenhagen is home to some of the friendliest people I've ever met. In my opinion, you need to spend weeks in this capital city to really get to know it, yet due to its high price tag, many travellers choose to allocate very little time to learn its quirks. Here are the highlights and must do's to have the best 24 hours in Copenhagen.
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24 hours in Copenhagen
The Danish capital lured me in with its independent artist studios, amazing food and laid back atmosphere. I had no idea what to expect from this Scandinavian city, yet the adventures in Copenhagen proved to be some of the coolest I've had since I became a traveller. Thus far, Copenhagen is my second favourite city in the world, top spot remaining top be occupied by Tokyo.
Must visit in Copenhagen
Start your day by strolling along the beautiful pier and make your way towards the Danish star attraction: The Little Mermaid. This statue was inspired by the fairy tale with the same name, written by Hans Christian Andersen. It's one of the most photographed statues in Europe. To beat the crowds try to get to the statue as early in the morning as possible.
Arguably, this is Copenhagen's most vibrant neighbourhood, especially during the summer season. I visited in November, yet Nyhavn was still bursting with life. This is a great place to take a break, order a craft beer and grab lunch. In the evening, Nyhavn transforms into a true entertainment quarter full of happy people and energetic locals.
Enter this 17th-century castle which is home to several Danish crowns, kept in special vaults. A visit through this renaissance museum will enable you to intake a serious dosage of Danish history. The interior of the castle is kept quite dark in order to preserve its paintings. The royal air this castle has is like no other in the whole of Scandinavia.
Just before lunch, make sure you visit the Amalienborg Palace. At noon the Changing the Guards Ceremony takes place, an interesting event which shouldn't be missed when in Copenhagen. To see the guards march and perform an elaborate choreography, all happening to the sounds of live music is a spectacle in itself.
Best views over Copenhagen
In fact a government building, this baroque palace has the tallest tower in Copenhagen. Climb to the top and be rewarded with awesome 360 degrees rooftop views over the Danish capital. Best of all? It's open to visitors entirely free of charge. Copenhagen is amazing!
Must Eat in Copenhagen
Don't just try one, have a ton of them. Eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and in between meals too. The food in Denmark is so divine, I want to revisit Copenhagen just to eat.
Until I visited Copenhagen I didn't even know black buns existed. Well in Tight, a top Danish restaurant, charcoal buns are served as appetisers. I loved the buns so much, I asked to buy them, yet these goodies were not for sale separately. On my way out, the staff at Tight handed me a takeaway box containing 6 charcoal buns. Completely free I must add. Well, this is how Tight managed to get a loyal customer and a promoter. It's 17th top restaurant in Copenhagen accordingly to TripAdvisor. To book a table visit their website.
A rather odd recommendation given that you are visiting a Scandinavian country and not Japan. As a fair comparison, after Kyoto, I honestly think Copenhagen has the best sushi I've ever had. Try Selfish, a small restaurant located on Elmegade 4, 2200 København, Denmark.
Must not miss in Copenhagen
Freetown Christiania welcomes everybody seeking to experience a rather different aspect of Copenhagen. A self-proclaimed independent neighbourhood, but still part of Copenhagen, is a completely different world than the rest of Denmark. Think hippies, art, street food and friendly locals. Note you are entering a space which is self-government, hence you are exiting the EU for a brief period of time. No, official papers aren't required, it's just a quirky aspect of Christiania.
How to Explore Copenhagen
Copenhagen by Bike
To explore Copenhagen like a local, hire a bike. Also known as the city of bikes you will find many shops renting wheels for reasonable prices. There are tons of well-defined cycle paths everywhere around the city and it is very safe to pedal around.
Did you know: Copenhagen has more bikes than people.
What do you love most about your 24 hours in Copenhagen? Let me know in the comments section below.